Saturday, July 29, 2006

Bloggernaclin' blues

I really shouldn't be fascinated by this conflict of tightening up the boundaries of the Bloggernacle and the resulting fallout here and here.

I assume most readers are actually not interested in it, which is why I've saved this post for Sunday. My blog stats tell me that only serious bloggers visit on the weekend -- people looking for something interesting visit during the week -- so today's post is a "Let's talk about blogging" special edition just for you hard-core blogging addicts.

My favorite idea on where Mormon-interest blogspace should go from here is John Dehlin's offer here of creating a more inclusive Mormon portal (at to take the pressure off portals like LDS select, allowing them not to feel bad about being more selective in terms of including only highly LDS-faith-promoting blogs.

Putting this idea together with Johhny's clever (joke?) suggestion in the comments of this post that the LDS blogs classify themselves as Celestial, Terrestrial, and Telestial, we have a great way to allow everyone who wants to be a part of the community to be included while making it easy for people who don't want to be confronted with some types of materials and discussions to stay within their comfort zone.

For instance, the Celestial blogs could be those that are consistently faith-promoting -- whose topics could pass muster at Deseret Book or church correlation. Then the Terrestial blogs could be those that are a little more liberal -- and discuss the hard issues -- but are ultimately very faith-promoting in tone (fMh perhaps?). The Telestial blogs could be the NOM (New Order Mormon) blogs and everyone else that Dave kicked out of the Bloggernacle. And we all know who's in Outer Blogness...

I really love this idea, so I hope it doesn't end up being silently forgotten.

The thing is that as much as the Celestial blogs would like to imagine that the exmormon blogs are just a pest, like buzzing flies, in truth there's a continuum of discourse that stretches from the most orthodox LDS blog on one end all the way to the most anti-Mormon blog on the other. And while it gets pretty thin in the middle, this conflict demonstrates that the exact division point is not obvious.

Here's a trivia question for you blog history buffs out there: What's the difference between DAMU and Outer Blogness?

The difference is largely historical. DAMU (DisAffected Mormon Underground) is the term (coined by Equality?) for the network of exmormon blogs that formed on the fringes of the Bloggernacle. "Outer Blogness" is the term for the network of exmormon blogs that was organized... Guess where!

That's right -- on the popular Recovery from Mormonism forum of If you're curious as to where the term "Outer Blogness" comes from, just read the comments to the "Cover Art" post in my sidebar...

(Note that did not organize Outer Blogness, but they provide a blog list here, and you can write to them if you would like to have your blog added to it.)

Outer Blogness ran into the DAMU blogs, the NOM blogs, and other Bloggernacle fringe blogs all at once, and that was when the DAMU network got sucked into Outer Blogness.

Actually, for anyone who's a glutton for boring blog history trivia, you can see some of the early organization of Outer Blogness here and here, and you can see what happened when Outer Blogness met up with the Bloggernacle fringe here and here. (Everything that happens in blog space is by definition chronicled and logged...)

So why not make the de facto community official with a common portal?

Now I assume most faithful Mormons will be very suspicious of this suggestion, and doubly so because it's coming from an apostate. That's why normally I try to avoid giving advice on the Bloggernacle. I assume most Bloggernaclers are open minded enough to consider my suggestions fairly, but I'd just as soon not cause confusion by making people ask themselves when I'm speaking as a person and when I'm speaking as an agent of Satan. But this idea is too good for me to let it pass by without saying something!!!

Yet again take it with a grain of salt if it looks like "Woo-Hoo, go Dave!!! You kick 'em out, I'll round 'em up..."

I know I've already put my foot in it at least once so far. But to my credit, I've learned from my mistake!!!

See, my first reaction on reading Dave's post was "this looks like a job for one of my new favorite Simpson's quotes!!!":

When Lisa informs Homer that the Chinese use "the same word for 'crisis' as they do for 'opportunity,'" Homer replies "Yes! 'Crisitunity!'"

And what I learned is that when someone has just been kicked to the curb by their dear friends, the last thing they need is some weirdo saying "Look on the bright side!!! It's a crisitunity!!!"

So, sorry about that Ann...

But maybe this is a crisitunity.

Or at least a Mormunity???


Sideon said...

I have as much in common with Celestial blogging as I do with Joseph Smith's chastity belt. I have even less interest.

I realize naming is important, and like-minded individuals will naturally gravitate towards each other. Social physics, baby. In the beginning, the linking and naming (Outer Blogness) from RfM were fun, but I have less and less Mormonism in my life.

What I'm saying, oh so badly, is that the groups and names will iron themselves out, drama or no drama.

C. L. Hanson said...

Hey Sideon!!!

I know you're right, but I just can't stop meddling!!! It's too much fun!!! ;-)

Sideon said...


I'm not "right" - I'm sharing a perspective.


I love your posts, you know that?

C. L. Hanson said...

Thanks!!! I love yours too!!! :D

John Dehlin said...

I'm fully willing to make this a reality, if I can get some help.

Great post.

C. L. Hanson said...


I don't have any expertise with portal software and services, but I can help you promote it and compile blog lists.

Of course, having any kind of support from the exmo community might make it just that much less palatable to the LDS community, but we'll see.

And who knows? Maybe some exmos will help provide balance by voiciferously opposing this plan... ;-)

Kalv1n said...

I'm so in outer blogness. Did you see that video I posted? I know it's not very friendly, but it was so fun to see all of the obscure "doctrine" put in a superfriends-like animation.

The Sinister Porpoise said...

Other Simpsons quotes:

"I'm not normally a praying man, but if you're up there please save me, Superman!" -- Homer

"Dad, what religion are you?" "You know the one with all those well-meaning rules that don't work in real life." "Christinity?" "That's it." -- exchange between Bart and Homer

Upon answering the door for two aliens, "Oh great, Mormons!" -- Homer
"Actually we're Quantum Presbyterians." -- the aliens.

"Bart, quit tormenting the Devil!"
--Marge Simpson

"9 out of 10 religions fail within the first year." -- God

"Reverend, Tod just swore." N Flanders.
"Look for guidance in the bible." Reverend Lovejoy
"Where in the Bible, reverend?"
"Page 900." Reverend Lovejoy then hangs up the phone as Ned has called him at 1:00 a.m.

C. L. Hanson said...

Hey Kalvin!!!

I wanted to watch the video, but I couldn't get the sound to work in my browser. Speaking of superfriends, though, I love the fact that Joseph Smith is one of the "Super Best Friends"!!! LOL!!

Hey Sinister Porpoise!!!

Those are great ones!!! I don't think I've heard any of those!!! The Simpsons are an amazing source of hilarious quotes!!! :D

Anonymous said...

"I really love this idea, so I hope it doesn't end up being silently forgotten."

C.L., this is an idea whose time has come, so I'll do my part to make it happen. I actually believe (call me naive) that there is much excellent dialog to be had no matter what one I think you're totally in the the right track.

Very nice summary of events leading-up to this most recent hiccup in the bloggernacle. A few points of further clarification: Equality brought the term "DAMU" into the blogosphere from A View from the Foyer where it has been one of the common terms shared among certain message boards for some time now. When Equality started blogging in March of 2006 he was coming from these message boards and simply used the term DAMU to categorize blogs he found to be consistent with the term as he discovered them...much the same as you have done with Outer-bloggness.

I like the idea of degrees of glory as well. The trick is going to be creating these distinctions only to the degree that they have utility while at the same time minimizing friction between the sub-communities maximize the level of inter-kingdom discourse.

One thing I've noticed is that the CK type blogs are significantly more averse to having visitors from the lower kingdoms, which fits quite well with the LDS concept that the higher kingdoms can minister to the lower kingdoms but not visa-versa. I'm actually OK with this. Perhaps for the sake of encouraging dialog we could follow a general rule of thumb (with exceptions of course) that comments of a certain nature be limited to the kingdom in which they are appropriate?

I do not like the idea of lumping blogs into boxes by category. I'd prefer an anarchic mish-mash with perhaps an icon associated with each blog/comment/commentor as appropriate (sun, moon, stars, black-holes) and then allow users to filter-out certain categories as they wish.

Just thinking out loud here. I have some technical expertise and interest in driving and/or cooperating in creating an aggregator for this universal community.

Stephen said...

Reminds me of when the web rings, when the one wanted to drop the anti-mormon ones.

The real dividing line is that there are a lot of people who want to retain cultural ties, which is a different sort of thing, and those who just want some sort of connection with their roots, like some Jewish friends of mine who wouldn't think of attending a synagogue, or praying, but who want to be "Jewish."

And people who just want referrals and blog traffic and ecosystem points, regardless of where or from whom.

Cyn Bagley said...

I have no preference.. :-)

I like where I am.

Just one of many said...

Laughed my ass-off!! Have you seen the podcast(why they leave) by John Dehlin...very good in pointing out the ex-mo's perspective? I think we need a good de-programming website. Three degrees: Good robot, faithful minion, and rebel slave.

C. L. Hanson said...

Hey Matt!!!

Thanks for the clarification. I thought the DAMU term might be related to the foyer, but I've never been a regular there (I think I posted once), so since Equality's blog was the first place I saw the term, I thought maybe he had started it.

Honestly, I think there's been some good dialog too, so it's great to hear you're interested in moving this project forward.

I love this idea of distinguishing the categories by icon (and allowing people to filter the whole portal by category) rather than placing separate blogs in separate rings!!!

Hey Stephen!!!

That's a good point. However, I'm not sure if there's a consistent and fair way to isolate which bloggers are just looking for generic traffic (and not really interested in contributing to the community dialog)...

Hey Cynthia!!!

And there I was planning to recommend your blog as a "Celestial Blog." But I guess if you'd like to stay in Outer Blogness, that's okay too. ;^)

Hey Joom!!!


No I haven't seen that podcast, but it sounds interesting. For a deprogramming site, don't forget there's always RfM... :D

Cyn Bagley said...

oh.boy.. you really don't know my vices he... hehehe

Big coffee cup in hand

Anonymous said...

I like this idea.

Eric said...

I got through Dave's posting and all I could think was "blah blah blah." If only he would write a theorem about this I could finally find reason to leave the planet forever and take all my formon and nevermo friends with me. I'm not sure if saying WTF? through infinity will cover how I felt about his need to categorize and define this mundane and unimportant idea. Blah.

C. L. Hanson said...

Cynthia, you naughty thing you!!! ;-)

Hey anonymous!!!

Glad you like the idea!!! :D

Hey Eric!!!

See, that's why I want to stop thinking of it as Dave rejecting all of us and rather see it as a crisitunity!!! ;-)

Anonymous said...

Is it too late to be added to Outer Blogness?

-Pete Dunn

C. L. Hanson said...

Hey Pete!!!

It is never too late to be added to Outer Blogness!!!

I'm going to be updating my sidebar in a couple of days, so I'll add you and Simeon's brother Ishmael and that other new guy who posted a comment recently. :D

B.G. Christensen said...

Did you know that this post is the #1 result on a Google search for "Outer Blogness"? Which is useful because I was trying to find the origin of the term. It also makes you the MOST IMPORTANT ex-Mormon IN THE WORLD.

Have a nice day.

C. L. Hanson said...

Thanks Mr. Fob!!!

That's my goal -- to be the #1 exmo. There are so many cool exmos, though, I've got some stiff competition!!! ;^)